Blog 4 : Catherine McKenna

The inspirational woman I chose to talk about for my oral presentation is Catherine McKenna, the current Canadian Minister of Infrastructure & Communities. She actually became the first female Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre in 2015, where she was honoured Minister of Environment and Climate Change. She was born on August 5th, 1971, in Hamilton, Ontario, and attended many prestigious Canadian Universities such as Toronto University, McGill University & the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has worked as a lawyer for years as well as a professor at the Munk Global School of Affairs and Public Policy, and she has also played a significant role as a negotiator for the United Nations. Currently, she is working on keeping the city of Ottawa clean by deploying clean energy and solutions, but also on reducing plastics in our oceans, and expanding our national parks. She loves interacting with people from the community and making sure that the local economy keeps on growing.

McKenna is like me in the sense that I, too, am aspiring to become a human rights and social justice lawyer and would like to make an impact on the world. However, she is different than me because she dares to stand up and talk about environmental issues that are currently subject to conflicts, even with the label of “Climate Barbie” stuck to her back. McKenna is determined and has no fear of speaking her truth, and that is something I would never have the guts to do. First of all, I am far from being as great as a speaker as she is. Secondly, I would never gather enough courage to do it as well as she does while knowing some individuals take fun in turning my words into jokes. And those things are actually the reasons why I chose her. When I first looked at her description, I saw parts of what I aspire to be in her. McKenna is inspirational because you can see that she loves what she does and that she has worked really hard to get to that important position of power. She owns her place with such pride that, even if she has not done a lot to change the world as a whole, seeing that she could eventually, her, a woman, change important features of the Canadian world is already impressing. An inspirational person to me is someone who is driven by their goals and by what they love. Someone who, just like Catherine McKenna, is determined to bring changes to the world.

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